Patents Examined by Ronald Capossela
  • Patent number: 6598424
    Abstract: The process and the apparatus serve for separating a gas mixture in a separation plant. A feed gas (18) is introduced into a compressor system (6, 16) and then into the separation plant. In the event of loss or partial loss of the compressor system (6, 16) of the first feed gas compressor (6), a first auxiliary stream (91, 92) which has approximately the composition of the first product stream or approximately the composition of the feed gas is compressed (78, 89) to at least approximately the first pressure and is recirculated to the separation plant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: Linde Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Gerhard Zapp, Christian Kunz
  • Patent number: 6598406
    Abstract: A piston includes a circumferential groove having a seal ring and spring mounted within the groove. The spring exerts an axial force on the seal ring thereby preventing motion of the seal ring within the groove. Preferably, the spring in a wave spring, wherein small changes in deflection of the wave spring produces small changes in the load generated by the spring on the seal ring. The seal ring has at least one radial spring ring mounted within the seal ring to create a radial force on the seal ring. The piston can also include a sleeve that mounts to the piston body, the sleeve forming a wall of the groove. The piston can be a displacer mounted within a cylinder of a refrigerator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: Helix Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Russell M. Sylvia
  • Patent number: 6595006
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a miniature thermodynamic device that can be constructed using standard micro-fabrication techniques. The device can be used to provide cooling, generate power, compress gases, pump fluids and reduce pressure below ambient (operate as a vacuum pump). Embodiments of the invention relating to the production of a cooling effect and the generation of electrical power, change the thermodynamic state of the system by extracting energy from a pressurized fluid. Energy extraction is attained using an expansion process, which is as nearly isentropic as possible for the appropriately chosen fluid. An isentropic expansion occurs when a compressed gas does work to expand, and in the disclosed embodiments, the gas does work by overcoming either an electrostatic or a magnetic force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Technology Applications, Inc.
    Inventors: Jack H. Thiesen, Gary S. Willen, Robert A. Mohling
  • Patent number: 6591616
    Abstract: A combine bulk storage/single stage metal hydride compressor, a hydrogen storage alloy therefore and a hydrogen transportation/distribution infrastructure which incorporates the combine bulk storage/single stage metal hydride compressor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Rosa T. Young, Baoquan Huang, Farshad Bavarian, Gene Nemanich
  • Patent number: 6592550
    Abstract: A medical device (10) includes a catheter shaft (11) including inner and outer catheter shafts (12 and 14), and an expandable balloon (18) carried by the catheter shaft (11). The balloon (18) is made from an irradiation cross-linked mixture of a polyamide elastomer and at least one additional cross-linking reactant. The polyamide elastomer can be a polyester amide, a polyether ester amide or a polyether amide, and is preferably a nylon block copolymer. The cross-linking reactant can be: (a) a difunctional material, (b) a trifunctional material, (c) a tetrafunctional material, or (d) an aromatic molecule containing at least two ring substituents, each of the ring substituents having labile hydrogens at a benzylic site therein. The cross-linking reactant can also be diallyl phthalate or meta-phenylene dimaleimide. Irradiation is carried out by exposure to an electron beam or to ultraviolet, X- or gamma radiation, preferably at a total fluence of about 0.5 to about 20 megarads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignees: Cook Incorporated, Sabin Corporation
    Inventors: Scott E. Boatman, David G. Burton, Michael C. Hoffa, David R. Lessard, David A. Drewes, Jr., Maggie A. Z. Hupcey
  • Patent number: 6584803
    Abstract: Nitrogen is rejected from a feed gas stream comprising methane and nitrogen so as to form a methane product. The feed gas stream is cooled in a main heat exchanger and rectified in a double rectification column comprising a higher pressure column, a lower pressure column and a condenser-reboiler placing the higher and lower pressure rectification columns in heat exchange relationship with each other. At least part of the feed gas stream is expanded through a valve into the higher pressure rectification column and the feed gas stream is partially liquefied upstream of the double rectification column. Over a period of time, the mole fraction of nitrogen in the feed gas stream may increase. The operating pressure of the lower pressure rectification column is periodically increased in response to increases in the mole fraction of nitrogen. A back pressure valve may be periodically adjusted to effect the increase in pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: The BOC Group plc
    Inventor: John Douglas Oakey
  • Patent number: 6581409
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for producing liquefied natural gas. A liquefaction plant may be coupled to a source of unpurified natural gas, such as a natural gas pipeline at a pressure letdown station. A portion of the gas is drawn off and split into a process stream and a cooling stream. The cooling stream passes through a turbo expander creating work output. A compressor is driven by the work output and compresses the process stream. The compressed process stream is cooled, such as by the expanded cooling stream. The cooled, compressed process stream is divided into first and second portions with the first portion being expanded to liquefy the natural gas. A gas-liquid separator separates the vapor from the liquid natural gas. The second portion of the cooled, compressed process stream is also expanded and used to cool the compressed process stream. Additional features and techniques may be integrated with the liquefaction process including a water clean-up cycle and a carbon dioxide (CO2) clean-up cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC
    Inventors: Bruce M. Wilding, Dennis N. Bingham, Michael G. McKellar, Terry D. Turner, Kevin T. Raterman, Gary L. Palmer, Kerry M. Klingler, John J. Vranicar
  • Patent number: 6581412
    Abstract: This invention is directed to a method for delivering a liquefied compressed gas with a high rate of flow comprising passing a liquefied compressed high-purity semiconductor gas into a storage vessel; positioning a temperature measuring means onto the wall of the compressed gas storage vessel; positioning at least one heating means proximate to the storage vessel; monitoring the resulting temperature with the temperature measuring means; positioning a pressure measuring means at the outlet of the storage vessel and monitoring the vessel pressure; adjusting the heat output of the heating means to heat the liquefied compressed gas in the storage vessel to control the evaporation of the liquefied compressed gas in the storage vessel; and controlling the flow of the gas from the storage vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Praxair Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Atul Pant, Melvyn Richardson, Mike Leshner
  • Patent number: 6581410
    Abstract: The invention provides a process for the separation of a heavier hydrocarbon fraction from a gaseous feed comprising a mixture of hydrocarbons, which process comprises subjecting the feed to a first fractionation to form a condensed product; subjecting the condensed product to a second fractionation, at a lower pressure than the first fractionation pressure, to provide the heavier hydrocarbon fraction and distillate fraction; and withdrawing the produced heavier fraction wherein the distillate from the second fractionation is partially condensed to provide reflux streams for both the first and second fractionations. Running the second fractionation at a lower pressure than the first means that there is phased let-down of pressure in two stages, leading to an increased pressure at the suction of the residue gas compressor and reduces power consumption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Costain Oil Gas & Process Limited
    Inventors: Grant L. Johnson, Adrian J. Finn, Terence R. Tomlinson
  • Patent number: 6582394
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is provided for stenting bifurcated vessels. A main-vessel stent and delivery system is provided for implanting a stent in the main vessel of a bifurcated vessel, wherein the main-vessel stent has an aperture bordered by closed stent cells that aligns with the opening to a side-branch vessel to permit substantially unobstructed blood flow between the main vessel and the side-branch vessel. The delivery system includes a catheter assembly having distal and proximal balloons separated by a positioning guide wire exit port located at the distal end of the catheter. The catheter assembly is advanced over a pair of guide wires for delivering, appropriately orienting, and implanting the main-vessel stent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Reiss, Mary Dennehy
  • Patent number: 6578379
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for separation of a gas mixture. A process and an installation for cryogenic separation of the constituents of a natural gas under pressure in a first phase separator in which the constituents of each phase are separated in a distillation column. Part of the gaseous fraction from the top of the column is recycled into the highest stage of the column. The process also includes branching of part of a first top fraction from the first phase separator. The process also includes separation of a first bottom fraction from the first separator, in a second separator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Technip-Coflexip
    Inventor: Henri Paradowski
  • Patent number: 6578378
    Abstract: A process for the high-yield recovery of ethylene and heavier hydrocarbons from the gas produced by pyrolysis of hydrocarbons in which the liquid products resulting from the fractionated condensation of a cracking gas for the recovery of almost all the ethylene, are supplied to a distillation column, called a de-ethanizer, at different intermediate levels. At the top of the de-ethanizer the vapor of the column distillate is treated directly in an acetylene hydrogenation reactor, the effluent containing virtually no acetylene being separated by a distillation column called a de-methanizer, into an ethylene- and ethane-enriched tail product, while the head product is recycled by compression or treated for subsequent recovery of ethylene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Technip-Coflexip
    Inventors: Victor Kaiser, Jean-Paul Laugier, Yvon Simon
  • Patent number: 6574968
    Abstract: A thermoacoustic refrigerator having a relatively small size which utilizes one or more piezoelectric drivers to generate high frequency sound within a resonator at a frequency of between about 4000 Hz and ultrasonic frequencies. The interaction of the high frequency sound with one or more stacks create a temperature gradient across the stack which is conducted through a pair of heat exchangers located on opposite sides of each stack. The stack is comprised of an open-celled material that allows axial, radial, and azimuthal resonance modes of the resonator within the stack resulting in enhanced cooling power of the thermoacoustic refrigerator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: University of Utah
    Inventors: Orest G. Symko, Ehab Abdel-Rahman, DeJuan Zhang, Thierry Klein
  • Patent number: 6574972
    Abstract: Methods of cooling an object are presented, the methods comprising contacting a heat transfer fluid with a liquid cryogen to form a precooled, substantially pure heat transfer fluid, and contacting the object with the precooled substantially pure heat transfer fluid to form a cooled object and a recycle flow of the heat transfer fluid. The heat transfer fluid consists essentially of a compound selected from the group consisting of substantially pure hydrogen, substantially pure helium, substantially pure argon, substantially pure nitrogen, and substantially pure carbon dioxide. Each of the contacting steps may be either direct contact, indirect contact, or combinations thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignees: L'Air Liquide - Societe' Anonyme a' Directoire et Conseil de Surveillance pour l'Etude et l'Exploitation des Procedes Georges Claude, American Air Liquide
    Inventors: Frederick W. Giacobbe, Michael G. Pizzo
  • Patent number: 6568206
    Abstract: A process for recovering a first component and/or a second component from a multicomponent feed gas mixture containing the first component and the second component includes multiple steps. The first step is to pass the feed gas mixture through a membrane separation unit, thereby separating the feed gas mixture into a first stream enriched in the first component and a second stream lean in the first component. The second step is to cool the first stream. The third step is to expand the cooled first stream in a work extraction device, thereby generating a refrigeration supply for the process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventor: Eric William Scharpf
  • Patent number: 6568207
    Abstract: In an integrated process an air separation unit A receives compressed air from the compressor S of a blast furnace B and the compressor K of a gas turbine C. Nitrogen enriched air N from the air separation unit is sent to the gas turbine and oxygen enriched air O from the air separation unit is sent to the blast furnace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: L'Air Liquide-Societe Anonyme a Directoire et Conseil de Surveillance pour l'Etude et l'Exploitation des Procedes Georges Claude
    Inventors: Jean-Renaud Brugerolle, Bao Ha
  • Patent number: 6569146
    Abstract: A method for treating loosely formed, friable or fragile lesions in a patient's blood vessel. A catheter having a pair of sealing mechanisms is advanced such that the sealing mechanisms are positioned distal to and proximal to the lesion. The sealing mechanisms are activated to seal the vessel on either side of the lesion. A medication is then delivered through the catheter to the sealed area of the vessel. The medication interacts with the lesion in order to partially or completely solidify it. Once the lesion is solidified, the catheter is removed and the lesion can be treated with a conventional intravascular device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: SciMed Life Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis Werner, David H. Dillard, Ray Fei, Gary Swinford, Verivada Chandru Chandrasekaran, Tim J. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6569129
    Abstract: A catheter delivery system for delivering a treatment substance to an occlusion in a lumen of a tubular vessel includes a tubular catheter and a treatment substance. The tubular catheter includes a central lumen passing between a proximal end and a distal end adjacent to an inflatable balloon. The treatment substance is in a form that is configured to be deliverable through the central lumen of the catheter into the lumen of the tubular vessel and to solidify in the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
    Inventors: David R. Holmes, Jr., Robert S. Schwartz
  • Patent number: 6568210
    Abstract: A method to obtain a gaseous product by the low temperature fractionation of air includes supplying a first, purified and cooled stream of air to a high-pressure column. At least one liquid stream from the high-pressure column is passed into a low-pressure column. A product stream in the liquid state is drawn off from the low-pressure column and is brought to an elevated pressure. The product stream is then evaporated in an indirect heat exchange with a second purified stream of air. The second stream of air, which is condensed at least partly during the indirect heat exchange, is expanded at least partly in a work-producing manner. The second stream of air subsequently is passed into the low-pressure column. The pressure of the second stream of air at the outlet of the work-expansion is lower than the operating pressure in the sump of the high-pressure column. The work-expansion of the second stream of air is carried out in a single step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Linde Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Gerhard Pompl
  • Patent number: 6568194
    Abstract: An improved dewar design that accelerates the manufacturing process of a dewar. In a preferred embodiment, the dewar includes an evacuation port that may be larger in size by a factor of ten over the size of evacuation ports of conventional dewars. The oversized evacuation port, however, does not result in an increase in the overall size or profile of the dewar. The dewar is evacuated and hermetically sealed using an re-usable evacuation tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Superconductor Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Wallace Yoshito Kunimoto, Angela May Ho, Elna Ruri Saito, Arturo Soto, Gregory Ronald Harrah